Monday, November 29, 2010

America's Best Dressed Boaters

The Dragonfly's crew is in State College today and tomorrow!  In upstate NY the rest of the week. We'll be back on the boat Friday.  In the mean time, we're catching up on blog posts.

Having trouble reaching us?  Email  slowboatcruise@gmail.com

This is what it feels like to be on Mobile Bay
When we first announced we were making this trip, many of the crew's friends asked her, "Where do you keep your clothes?" This question being code for, "That boat is so small! You can't possibly pack much! How will you stand it, wearing the same clothes day after day?"

Yup, ladies, fashion-wise, being on a boat is boring. It's not like the days when you went "yachting" dressed in white from head to toe; alas for the days of jaunty French sweaters in a nautical stripe and Jackie O sunglasses.

We took what amounts to a backpacking wardrobe: A small selection of easy-care fabrics in dark colors.  And full-body raingear.

 But look on the bright side: When your options are limited, you don't waste time figuring out what to wear.  (And there's no full-length mirror, so if you look terrible, you'll never know!)

There are many stylish people in downtown
Mobile. We are not among them.
We've discovered that boater culture allows for a certain lack of--ahem--shall we say attention to sartorial details?  Like the dignified gentleman who turned to leave after a lovely chat on the dock, revealing a very (VERY) large hole in the seat of his pants.

Or the guy with 3-day stubble whose sweatshirt was ripped at the neckline and generously covered in grease spots, who, over dinner, we learned, was a physician . . .  spending the weekend on his boat. (Spotted him at dawn the next day, sneaking away down the dock in a white shirt and tie.)

Personally, the crew once dressed in the pre-dawn gloom, spent the day doing the usual boat things, and later, ashore, dining out, visited the well-lit ladies room with full-wall mirror . . . only to discover her hair standing on end, toothpaste on her lapel, and mud chunks in decorative array on her sweatshirt elbow.

Which may explain the encounter we had as we passed through downtown Mobile, Alabama.  The convention center is on the water, and it has a wall where boats can tie up briefly, so we did.

A woman sauntered over, identified herself as a diesel mechanic, and asked the usual questions about our boat.

As the conversation evolved, she let slip that she was an unemployed diesel mechanic.

Then, she asked where we were staying. We said, not sure yet.

The woman pointed to a nearby building where, she said, we could get a great meal.

And they wouldn't even charge us!

And, she went on, we could also get a shower, or a ride in the van.

"They could give you some new clothes," she said.

I guess I've got to start combing my hair.

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